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Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of treated wastewater reuse for agriculture


Reuse of treated wastewater (TWW) for agriculture is in practice in many countries. TWW reuse requires wastewater collection, treatment and recycling, which is associated with cost as well as risk to human and ecological systems. In contrast, it can increase agricultural production and reduce environmental risks by reducing wastewater discharge into the natural environment. In Saudi Arabia, where available water resources are extremely limited, TWW reuse can save significant amount of non-renewable groundwater used in agricultural development, which is a strategic goal for the country. In this paper, a multicriteria decision-making approach was developed where cost, risk, benefits and social acceptance of TWW reuse were considered to be the main criteria. A multistage hierarchy risk management model was constructed for this evaluation. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation technique was incorporated where fuzzy triangular membership functions were developed to capture uncertainties of the basic criteria. The analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the relative importance of various criteria at different hierarchy levels. This study indicated that TWW reuse could have positive impact on agriculture, risk reduction and groundwater conservation.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) for funding this work through project No. RG 1110-1 and RG 1110-2.

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Correspondence to Shakhawat Chowdhury.

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Chowdhury, S., Al-Zahrani, M. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of treated wastewater reuse for agriculture. Environ Dev Sustain 16, 521–538 (2014).

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  • Treated wastewater reuse
  • Fuzzy multistage hierarchy framework
  • Agricultural production
  • Environmental risk
  • Saudi Arabia